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First woman appointed to Swiss National Bank board

Andrea Maechler becomes the first woman to join the Swiss National Bank’s governing body since it was founded in 1907 Keystone

The Swiss cabinet has appointed Andrea Maechler as the first female member of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank (SNB)External link. She will replace Jean-Pierre Danthine, who retires next June.

Maechler, 45, currently works as deputy division chief in the Capital Markets Department at the International Monetary Fund. She will be the first woman to join the national bank’s governing body since it was founded in 1907.

The cabinet said in a statement that she had been chosen for her “proven skills”.

“In over 16 years of professional activity, she has acquired a deep knowledge of international monetary affairs and of financial stability,” it said.

She has worked for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the World Trade Organization and the European Systemic Risk Board.

She will head the SNB department responsible for the bank’s cap on the Swiss franc versus the euro.

Fritz Zurbruegg, who’s been on the board since 2012, will take Danthine’s role as SNB vice president. The presidency of the governing board is headed by SNB chairman Thomas Jordan.

The issue of female participation in boardrooms has been in the headlines recently. While three out of seven Swiss cabinet ministers are women, the situation is less rosy in the boardrooms of big companies, with Switzerland far behind Scandinavian countries such as Norway (36.4%), Finland (27.1%) and Sweden (24.6%). 

Around 11.6% of all board directors in Swiss companies are women, below the European Union average of 15.5%. Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga would like to set a legal minimum of 30% for all publicly listed firms.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR